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The Scarlet Pimpernel

XVII. Farewell
When Marguerite reached her room, she found her maid terribly anxious about
her.
"Your ladyship will be so tired," said the poor woman, whose own eyes were half
closed with sleep. "It is past five o'clock."
"Ah, yes, Louise, I daresay I shall be tired presently," said Marguerite, kindly; "but
you are very tired now, so go to bed at once. I'll get into bed alone."
"But, my lady . . ."
"Now, don't argue, Louise, but go to bed. Give me a wrap, and leave me alone."
Louise was only too glad to obey. She took off her mistress's gorgeous ball-
dress, and wrapped her up in a soft billowy gown.
"Does your ladyship wish for anything else?" she asked, when that was done.
"No, nothing more. Put out the lights as you go out."
"Yes, my lady. Good-night, my lady."
"Good-night, Louise."
When the maid was gone, Marguerite drew aside the curtains and threw open
the windows. The garden and the river beyond were flooded with rosy light. Far
away to the east, the rays of the rising sun had changed the rose into vivid gold.
The lawn was deserted now, and Marguerite looked down upon the terrace
where she had stood a few moments ago trying in vain to win back a man's love,
which once had been so wholly hers.
It was strange that through all her troubles, all her anxiety for Armand, she was
mostly conscious at the present moment of a keen and bitter heartache.
Her very limbs seemed to ache with longing for the love of a man who had
spurned her, who had resisted her tenderness, remained cold to her appeals,
and had not responded to the glow of passion, which had caused her to feel and
hope that those happy olden days in Paris were not all dead and forgotten.
How strange it all was! She loved him still. And now that she looked back upon
the last few months of misunderstandings and of loneliness, she realised that she
had never ceased to love him; that deep down in her heart she had always
 
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